Babies and Tots

From newborns and babies to toddlers and tots, these articles help you navigate and find encouragement during pregnancy and the early years of motherhood.

One-healthy-way-a-SAHM-handles-jealousy-of-her-husband

One Healthy Way a SAHM Handles Jealousy of Her Husband

My husband quietly closes the door behind him. It’s such a soft noise—like the sound of breathing out on a cold day. Lately, he has been working from home, and what used to be our guest room is now his office. He’s a scientist and does a lot with computers, so the desk, once lined with antique glass bottles of all colors and a sweet little doily from my mother-in-law, now looks like NASA headquarters. There are blinking blue and red lights, and charts and numbers and what is truly a different language spread across three giant computer screens. I imagine him sipping his coffee, glasses resting comfortably on his nose, nodding in agreement or gazing quizzically during his Zoom meetings with […]

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Mom hack for toddlers

Mom Hack for Toddlers | Guided Access for Cell Phones

If you’re a toddler mom, then you’ve definitely had moments where you needed to keep your little one occupied while finishing small chores or work. But you also know that handing over your phone for just a few minutes could lead to accidental phone calls and unintended—or embarrassing—social media posts. Grit and Grace Life‘s podcast co-host and brand ambassador Julie Graham shares a helpful life hack she learned: Guided Access. Moms with Apple iPhones can activate a screen lock that keeps wandering eyes and fingers at bay. No matter which iPhone generation you own, you can find all you need to know here.

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This Is What Justin Timberlake Taught Me About Motherhood

Anyone else have the same albums saved on their iTunes account from the (dinosaur) days before streaming services? I must have downloaded Spotify around 2013 because when I’m not paying attention and plug my phone into my car, I’m listening to the likes of Nora Jones, Rascal Flatts, some old school Beyoncé, and Justin Timberlake. One of the songs that came on this morning was Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors,” a beautiful love ballad created for his wife. Today, however, I found myself sitting in the Target parking lot thinking on the lyrics to this song, not from the perspective of a love song, but from the perspective of a mother. His words struck me: “It’s like you’re my mirror, my mirror staring back

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Dear Mom, I Will Always Need You (Even Now That I’m a Mom)

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) Yesterday my mom sent me a text asking if she could take my two toddlers and me to Costco. And she did. She came over at 10 a.m., acted as if she didn’t notice the disaster my house was, took my son to the bathroom while my daughter was melting down in my arms, and ignored my poor attitude. The truth is, I was about to melt down myself… which she probably knew. I now understand the uncanny accuracy of a mother’s intuition. They know so much more than they let on. They do so much parenting without even saying a word. I know this now, and I’ve only got three years under

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Sure, It Was a Disaster… But Not a Failure

Lately I’ve been feeling like a failure and I just can’t seem to shake it. Maybe it’s because I’ve been with my kids for six months straight and I literally can’t remember the last time the house was clean and quiet. Or maybe it’s because we’re smack in the middle of a pandemic and every single decision I make (or don’t make) has me questioning whether or not it’s the right one, and whether or not some crazy butterfly effect will take place six months down the road, where I’ll look back and realize I have done something terribly wrong. Either way, I just had to sit down and write about it because I have a feeling I’m not the only one,

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Detangling the Lies You Believe in Motherhood

Detangling the Lies You Believe in Motherhood

I sat on the couch annoyed. I would be spending the next hour of my life detangling my two-year-old’s beautiful hair. Ever since she started preschool, she’s had this nervous habit of twirling her hair into knots. I am not referring to simple knots that are easily taken out by a comb. Picture instead a matted mess of dreads all along the left side of her head. After a long day of teaching, this was the seventh consecutive day that I had spent unknotting and untwisting the disaster. All I wished to do in that moment was to laugh with her, to read with her, or just do something halfway pleasant. Instead, she sat and watched Mickey Mouse and I was infuriated

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What You Need to Protect Your Child From Sexual Exploitation

What You Need to Protect Your Child From Sexual Exploitation

If you are like me, I dreaded talking about sexuality with my kids. Unfortunately, in this digital age, if we wait too long and don’t share age-appropriate information, our children could learn a distorted view of sexuality from strangers or even predators. We can all agree sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of children are horrific epidemics, ones that we never want to personally affect our children. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, my home state of Florida ranks third in the nation in reported cases of human trafficking, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Cyber Tip Line received over 18.4 million reports in 2018 related to child sexual abuse images, online enticement, sextortion, child sex trafficking, and child

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How We Get Postpartum Wrong in America

How We Get Postpartum Wrong in America

Postpartum care in the United States has become like the obligatory vegetable platter set out at parties: we know it should be there to balance out dips and desserts but no one’s really digging into it. Postpartum is much the same way. It doesn’t get the attention it deserves and the random carrot stick we put on our plate to appease our consciences is the equivalent to our 6 week visit that does very little except to give us the OK on having sex again. Just like we need more vegetables on our plates, we need more postpartum care than what is offered to us. Certified pregnancy and postpartum athleticism coach Jordan Baesler says, “Pregnancy is temporary but postpartum is forever.” There

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This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

Real Advice Any Grit and Grace Mom Can Use Now – 134

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | More Motherhood has all the feels: pride, joy, fear, accomplishment, worry, and overwhelm (often with a hefty side of mom-guilt). Juggling these terrifying and satisfying waters can be challenging, especially if you want to master motherhood with both Grit and Grace. Real-life moms, Darlene Brock (who’s raised two daughters, now upgraded to Nonie—her fancy title for grandmother) and Julie Graham (widowed boymom in the trenches of single motherhood like many of you) share practical tips to do this. Strong Mama, don’t worry that you’re messing up or that you’re alone. In this episode, Julie and Darlene share hands-on advice on parenting techniques that they learned

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Help! I Get so Frustrated With My Toddler!

‘Matel’ Asked: Hi Zoe, my question to you is as follows. I get frustrated when my girl 3.5 years old does not act the way I want her too. She is very hyper, fearless and very wild 🙂 i end up shouting, being upset and being in bad mood quite often than normal. How can I come to manage my emotions? I feel hopeless at times when parenting become tough. Thanks Dr. Zoe Answered: First, please know that all mamas feel that way. You are not alone. These little ones that we love so much, instinctively know how to push all of our buttons. Your daughter is an individual person with a will of her own. This may be hard to hear,

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Grit and Grace for the New or First Time Mom

Grit and Grace for the New or First Time Mom

So you recently did—or are anxiously awaiting—to welcome a sweet (and stinky) little babe into the world! First of all, congratulations! There’s not much that’s more beautiful in this world than that. But, we all know babies are equally as mysterious and exhausting as they are beautiful. At Grit and Grace Life, one of our goals is to be a place where women who have walked a difficult road can look back and encourage those currently going through something similar. Today, that’s you: the new mother. As a new mom or mom-to-be, you’ve got lots of questions. What new responsibilities will I have? What if my child ? How do I keep my own identity as a mother? Well, it turns out that

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Every Mom Needs Her Own Highlight Reel This Is Why

Every Mom Needs Her Own Highlight Reel, This Is Why

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) We all do it. The long-awaited moments of silence ensue, and what do we do after those crazy little humans are sleeping in their beds? Pull out our phone and enjoy a recap of our day. We spend countless hours with these people, during which we dream of all the luxurious things we will do after bedtime. You know, like, eat a meal, take a shower, or complete a task such as the dishes, respond to a text, or RSVP to something without interference. But then, that magical moment arrives, and we do this silly thing… We stare at the compilation of snapshots and videos that made up our day: the morning smiles

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Can I Have Both Motherhood and a Career?

‘Alissa’ Asked: After 5 years of staying home with my babies (now 5 and 2), I find myself constantly struggling between continuing to stay home and going back to work. I feel selfish that I miss my career so much but I am so afraid I won’t be able to give 100% to both. How do you work, manage a home, make sure your kids know they’re cared for, keep up with housework, etc. It seems like so much! Am I selfish for wanting a career, the family…aka it all?! Dr. Zoe Answered: Thank you for asking the question of the century! Desiring a career does not make you a selfish person! I’m not yelling at you, but I want you to

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Being Pregnant Is Hard! 4 Truths for a Mom-To-Be

Being Pregnant Is Hard! 4 Truths for a Mom-To-Be

I’m sitting at 35 weeks today, and my hips are numb from rolling from side to side trying to find a comfortable position to sleep. My feet have swollen to the point where I can’t wear any of my shoes except for one pair of tennis shoes and my house slippers. There is a foot wedged under the right side of my rib cage, and don’t even get me started on morning sickness! I hear of these women who have had these sublime, serene pregnancies, and envy grows deep in my chest—or maybe that is heartburn from last night’s dinner (I’m not sure!). Women throughout the world are creating new life every second of the day, and though the joy remains in

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To Mom Who Feels Like She's in the Ditch

To the Mom Who Feels Like She’s in the Ditch

One day, as our collective brood of six children (later to become eight, between our two families) played in her yard, my dear comrade-in-arms, toddler-mom friend said something that did me a world of good. One of the boys (of our eight, seven were boys) asked her if he could do something both dangerous and downright wrong (mildly so, but still) and she said, “Whatever. Go ahead.” And then as an aside to me, “Sometimes I just get so tired of being consistent.” This, coming from the most consistent mom I’ve ever known—a real hall-of-famer. No, I did not judge her. Instead, my heart did a little jig. First, I must admit to a bit of schadenfreude… she struggled to keep it

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This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

Your Mom Always Said This (And She Was Right)- 079

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreLooking back we all recall the mom phrases: “Don’t roll your eyes, they’ll get stuck like that”, “If your friend jumped off a bridge…” and “Because I said so, that’s why!” These all-too-familiar phrases became ones we mouthed in the backseat of the car as we were growing up. There also may have been phrases like “I love you no matter what” that she never said, but you wished she would have. On this episode, Darlene and Julie revisit several expressions moms are famous for, as well as ones they didn’t say, but you needed. If you’re a mom, you will find yourself repeating these

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A Little Encouragement When Motherhood is Disappointing

A Little Encouragement When Motherhood Is Disappointing

Wait. Is this taboo? Can I talk about when this joyous thing called parenting is disappointing? Whether you have a newborn who is screaming all night or a 40-year-old adult child living downstairs, there comes a point (well, many of them maybe) when a parent thinks, wait—this sucks! Before you get offended, let me acknowledge that talking about the not-so-great parts of parenting does not in any way negate the amazing, heartwarming, life-changing miracle that parenting is. It really is. But sometimes it is truly disappointing, and way too often we parents take on way too much guilt, which of course only further impedes our good parenting moments. We are never off the hook as parents, but that doesn’t mean we are destined to a

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